I’m not going to lie, I kind of forgot this movie was coming out. Then I started seeing ads for it and thought “Oh yeah, the sequel for Venom, I forgot about that. Hopefully, it’s good”. Well, I am happy to report that “Venom: Let There Be Carnage”, does not… well… it does not stink. What should have strived for an R rating, the movie does what it can and comes out as, well, a decent movie.
The story begins in 1996 when a young Cletus Kasady (Woody Harrelson) is stuck in some sort of mental institution and his girlfriend Frances Barrison (Naomie Harris) is being taken away due to her mutation. She attempts to escape but doesn’t make it far. She is sent to a maximum-security mental institution and fasts forward to the present, Cletus is in prison right back where we first met him at the end of the first film. Meanwhile, Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) is trying to keep a low profile since he may or may not have been involved with an altercation at a science lab. Venom wants to go out, rescue good people and eat bad people because chickens and chocolate aren’t cutting it. Eddie is still getting over Anne (Michelle Williams) and her recent engagement to Dr. Dan (Reid Scott). Eddie and Venom are fighting like an old married couple more and more. Anyway, Eddie is requested to meet with Cletus, and long story short without any spoilers – Cletus is sentenced to death. Before his execution, Cletus is attacked by Venom and Cletus bites back, picking up a little guy who goes by Carnage and you can see where this is going. Eddie and Venom need to work out their differences before Carnage and Cletus cause too much destruction and death.
Directed by Andy Serkis (basically and movie with motion capture – Lord of the Rings, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, King Kong) this story doesn’t waste any time. The story movies along quickly and the action is good. The special effects with CGI are impressive, especially Carnage. Whoever designed his screech deserves a raise; I got chills down my spine. Tom Hardy and Woody Harrelson give excellent performances. Woody plays a pretty good serial killer, think a deranged Conan O’Brian meets a crazy psychopath. I enjoy the comedic back and forth between Venom and Eddie. Venom steals the show, and he has some moments to himself I enjoyed. The movie shows the importance of making relationships work, learning to forgive, and work as a team to solve problems. While Venom and Eddie’s relationship grows, so does their relationship with Anne and Dan. “Venom: Let There Be Carnage” has a lot of good moments that make it a decent movie.
However, “Venom: Let There Be Carnage” doesn’t quite hit the mark of great sequels but isn’t necessarily bad. This movie is short. Very Short. Like these sentences. 90-minute run time. Why? Well to move the story along which is good and bad, depends on if you don’t like extra exposition or just want the movie to get to the point. Venom doesn’t have much depth but is better than most sequels in the Marvel movie business (i.e., Thor 2). I wish there were more action sequences that made more use of Venom’s powers like the first movie and more screen time between our heroes and villains. Also, the trailers do ruin a lot of scenes.
“Venom: Let There Be Carnage” knows what kind of movie it is. It is a short but fun movie. I wasn’t blown away by it, but I wasn’t bored. The 90-minute run time means there is no extra fat, the movie jumps right into the story, and it moves at a good pace. One critic referred to it as a “B movie”. I agree, nothing special but plenty of action and humor. If you have time, go see it. I enjoyed it.
And there is one mid-credit scene for those of you who follow all the Marvel movies, your day will be made.
Born and raised in Michigan, I am a huge fan of movies and a big history buff. I am a graduate of the University of Michigan (with a Bachelors in History, surprise) and currently an officer in the Michigan Army National Guard. I reside in the East Lansing, MI area. My hobbies include hiking, watching movies, playing video games, going to the shooting range, and traveling Up North (as we call it) for vacation.